Riccarton Junction- W. Scott Beavan
Kikarin is upset about moving to the middle of nowhere Scotland but thankfully she has a project about a disappeared town to occupy her mind.
This may have been the worst book I've read this year. I'm not even sure where I can start to describe how and why I hated this so much.
Okay, my main problem was just how creepy and voyeuristic the book was. While the main character, Kikarin, is talking and swearing that she is a feminist and an intellectual and such, the prose is so entirely male gaze I wanted to vomit. There is a weird obsession with how she looks, how good she looks, how her legs in her skirt are looking, and how everyone just looks at her wanting sex. EURGH! I felt like I was inside the head of a man who would defund planned parenthood while saying that he has no problem with a woman having sex. I mean, great, thanks for saying that but let's have your actions support your talk and honestly, even at puberty not EVERY single interaction has something to do with sex! And don't get me started on how insisting that your main character is sexy BUT YOUNG is a creepy thing to repeat over and over.
Next main problem was the prose. I have edited documents written by people whose fifth language is English whose prose flows better than this does. Stilted, short sentences without any segues or flow are the rule of the game here. We are treated to the tritest, minute and mundane details in excess. She wore this BRAND NAME green shirt, and these BRAND NAME trousers, and went downstairs. She put on this BRAND NAME jacket. I wanted to shout SHUT UP. Whole scenes occurred where I could not perceive why they were included. They gave me no background as to why I should like her (except that maybe it's just that she's pretty) or care about her project (oh! I forgot, she's pretty AND smart so automatically I care about her project). Every step is accounted for it would feel and yet. YET. things would happen and you'd be blindsided by them. No build up, no increase of tension so when things happened, it was like a sucker punch. Suddenly something weird was happening and characters ceased moving at the pace of treacle. They were, also, about as short as a sucker punch because the 'climax' would happen, you'd blink and you were back in the world of Kikarin talking about how she opened the window and then did some dishes using some dish soap. 'Traumatic thing happened' Kikarin would say and you'd be like, huh? I was there and didn't see it?
Truly awful reading experience. Should have spent more time editing and shorn off some of those 'subplots' that were underdeveloped and just confusing.